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Wednesday, September 13, 2023
Can Hawaii Republicans Stop Vexatious Litigants?
By News Release @ 5:43 AM :: 2211 Views :: Ethics, Republican Party

Letter to Members regarding the Formal Letter of Complaint to Decertify the Hawaii Republican Party

Aloha Hawaii Republicans,   September 9, 2023

As you may have heard, the Hawaii Republican Party is being sued in State and now Federal Court by a group of former party members who are now leaders of the Hawaii Libertarian Party.   

The suits are the latest in a series of nearly identical cases filed by the same group of plaintiffs all stemming from an April 25, 2022 ‘Formal Complaint’ addressed by 29 disloyal current and former Party members to the Hawaii Office of Elections, Campaign Spending Commission and Ethics Commission demanding “decertification of the Hawaii Republican Party as a party in good standing and the party name not to appear on the 2022 election ballot.” 

The petition and list of signers is on pages 20-24 of the State suit: 1CCV-22-0001597

Signers include Honolulu County Chair Steve Lipscomb, former State Chair candidate Charlotte Rosecrans, and former Vice-Chair and interim State Chair Lohi Goodman.  They presented themselves to party members as candidates for leadership positions without disclosing to our membership at large that they signed the petition to remove Republicans from the Hawaii ballot. 

You can see their names on the petition on page 24 of the state lawsuit at THIS LINK

The Federal suit, filed August 31, 2023, seeks to “disband the Hawaii Republican Party.” (1:23-cv-00370-KJM-NONE).

The lead plaintiff in most of the suits is Honolulu mayoral candidate Karl Dicks who in 2020 and 2022 sued claiming to have been elected mayor after coming in 14th with 358 votes.  Dicks argued the other candidates were invalid because they had campaigned before filing nomination papers.  His remedy?  Retroactively strip them of their ballot rights and declare Dicks to be the legitimately elected mayor.  (SCEC-20-0000505 - Dicks v. State of Hawaii Office of Elections).

There is a pattern here.

Dicks has failed in court again and again, but to his ‘Formal Complaint’ signers, he is looked up to as a leader.

These suits are wasteful nonsense written by non-attorneys who have wasted the Courts’ time with 13 similar ‘pro-se’ state suits and three ‘pro-se’ federal court suits on various complaints.  The plaintiffs apparently think they can make Libertarians into the ‘second party’ in Hawaii by getting rid of the Republican Party. 

As you probably know, any lawsuit must be answered in court—even if to only ask that the case be summarily dismissed. 

Taken at face value, these complaints are designed to deprive our party and our members of our ability to organize our body and run ANY Republican candidates.  This litigation is still on-going and if we do not show up in court to defend, could make it impossible for ANY of our Republican Presidential candidates to be eligible to run for President in the State of Hawaii in 2024.  Not Trump. Not DeSantis. Not Ramaswamy... not any Republican.  This litigation would strip the Republican ballot line from all Republican elected officials and candidates.  The entire Republican Legislative caucus would cease to exist as Republicans.  The 152,237 Hawaii voters who backed Duke Aiona for Governor in 2022 would be disenfranchised.

Interestingly, when Lohi Goodwin assumed the HRP State Chair seat for 17 days before resigning as a Republican Party member, one of the first actions he took was to call the attorney defending HRP against Karl Dicks’ lawsuit and direct the attorney to stop his work.

Lohi Goodwin, who signed the Formal Complaint sent to the Hawaii Election Commission asking them to decertify our party—but did not tell party members—became Chair of HRP and as Chair, he directed the attorney defending our party against that Dick's lawsuit to STOP THE WORK of our defense. Does that sound ethical to you?

It didn't sound right to me, so I reached out to RNC Legal and had a 90 minute conference call with attorneys, reviewing HRP Rules with them.  Their response?  The moment any of these members, including Goodwin, signed off on this Formal Letter of Complaint to decertify the Hawaii Republican Party, their party memberships should have immediately been terminated.

I regret that I am leaving as your interim chair without getting this job done.

The State Committee meets this evening to elect a new Chair.

State Committee leaders need to rise above their petty factionalism and vote to remove the remaining petition signers from membership.  After 16 months, this still has not happened. 

Please ask your District Chair why he or she has not acted.

Please demand that your incoming State Chair continue to pay for the party’s legal defense in these cases and see to it that those that aim to destroy our party have their memberships terminated.

It's also very important to note that the lawsuits meet the pattern of ‘vexatious litigation’ as defined under HRS 637-J.  By asking the State and then Federal Courts to recognize the plaintiffs as ‘vexatious’, they can be barred by Court order from harassing Republicans with further nonsensical litigation. 

Your voices must be heard.  You all can bring an end to this. 

As your National Committeewoman, I have already begun the process of pursuing this with the RNC in partnership with our current local legal counsel, but it will take the cooperation of the new team of leaders to see this through.

It has been a honor to serve our party as your Acting Chair. 

Mahalo,

Laura Nakanelua
Acting Chair 
Hawai'i Republican Party

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